Page images

who can live by the products of his understanding, than one who does it by the favour of great men.

The zeal of an author has transported me thus far, though I think myself as much concerned in the capacity of a reader. If this practice goes on, we must never expect to see again a beautiful edition of a book in Great-Britain.

We have already seen the Memoirs of Sir William Temple, published in the same character and vo, lume with the History of Tom Thumb, and the works of our greatest poets shrunk into pennybooks and garlands. For my own part, I expect to see my Lucubrations printed on browner paper than they are at present, and, if the humour continues, must be forced to retrench my expensive way of living, and not smoke above two pipes a day,


* Mr. Charles Lillie, perfumer, at the corner of Beaufort-Buildings, has informed me, that I am obliged to several of my customers for coming to his shop upon my recommendation; and has also given Ine further assurances of his upright dealing with all who shall be so kind as to make use of my name to him. I acknowledge this favour, and have, for the service of my friends, who frequent his shop, used the force of magical powers to add value to his wares. By my knowledge in the secret operations of nature, I have made his powders, perfumed and plain, have the same effect as love-powder, to all who are too much enamoured to do more than dress at their mistresses. His amber, 'orange- - flower, musk, and civet-violet, put only into an handkerchief, shall have the same effect toward an honourable lover's wishes, as if he had been wrapped in his mother's smock. Wash-balls perfumed, camphired, and plain, shall restore complexions to that

[blocks in formation]

degree, that a country fox-hunter, who uses them, shall, in a week's time, look with a courtly and affable paleness, without using the bagnio or cupping.

N. B. Mr. Lillie has snuffs, Barcelona, Sevil, Musty, Plain, and Spanish, which may be taken by a young beginner without danger of sneezing.

Sheer-lane, Nov. 30. +++ Whereas several walking dead persons arrived within the bills of mortality, before and since the fifteenth instant, having been informed of my warrant given to the company of Upholders, and being terrified thereat, it not having been advertised that privilege or protection would be allowed, have resolved forthwith to retire to their several and respective abodes in the country, hoping thereby to elude any commission of interment that may issue out against them; and being informed of such their fallacious designs, I do hereby give notice, as well for the good of the public, as for the great veneration I have for the before-mentioned useful so. ciety, that a process is gone out against them; and that, in case of contempt, they may be found, or heard of, at most coffee-houses in and about Westminster.

I must desire my readers to help me out from time to time in the correction of these my Essays; for as a shaking hand does not always write legibly, the press sometimes prints one word for another; and when my paper is to be revised, I am perhaps so busy in observing the spots of the moon, that I have not time to find out the errata that are crept into my Lucubrations.

N. 102. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1709.

From my own Apartment, December 2.

A CONTINUATION OF THE Vision. The male world were dismissed by the goddess of Justice, and disappeared, when on a sudden the whole plain was covered with women. So charming a multitude filled my heart with unspeakable pleasure; and as the celestial light of the mirror shone upon their faces, several of them seemed rather persons that descended in the train of the goddess, than such who were brought before her to their trial. The clack of tongues, and confusion of voices, in this new assembly, were so very great, that the goddess was forced to command silence several times, and with some severity, before she could make them ata tentive to her edicts. They were all sensible that the most important affair among woman-kind was then to be settled, which every one knows to be the point of place. This had raised innumerable disputes among them, and put the whole sex into a tumult. Every one produced her claim, and pleaded her pretensions. Birth, beauty, wit, or wealth, were words, that rung in my ears from all parts of the plain. Some boasted of the merit of their husbands; others of their own power in governing them. Some pleaded their unspotted virginity; others their numerous issue. Some valued themselves as they were the mothers, and others as they were the daughters, of considerable persons. There was not a single accomplishment uomentioned, or unpractised. The whole congre: gation was full of singing, dancing, tossing, ogling, squeaking, smiling, singing, fanning, frowning, and all those irresistible arts which women put in practice, to captivate the hearts of reasonable creatures. The goddess, to end this dispute, caused it to be proclaimed, “ that every one should take place according as she was more or less beautiful.” This declaration gave great satisfaction to the whole assembly, which immediately bridled up, and appeared in all its beauties. Such as believed themselves graceful in their motion found an occasion of falling back, advancing forward, or making a false step, that they might show their persons in the most becoming air. Such as had fine necks and bosoms were wonderfully curious to look over the heads of the multitude, and observe the most distant parts of the assembly. Several clapt their hands on their foreheads, as helping their sight to look upon the glories that surrounded the goddess, but in reality to show fine hands and arms.

The ladies were yet better pleased, when they heard that, in the decision of this great controversy, each of them should be her own judge, and take her place according to her own opinion of herself, when she consulted her looking-glass.”

The goddess then let down the mirror of truth in a golden chain, which appeared larger in proportion as it descended and approached nearer to the eyes of the beholders. It was the particular property of this looking-glass, to banish all false appearances, and show people what they are. The whole woman was represented, without regard to the usual external features, which were made entirely conformable to their real characters. In short, the most accomplished, taking in the whole circle of female perfections, were the most beautiful; and the most defective, the most deformed. The goddess so varied the motion of the glass, and placed it in so many different lights, that each had an opportunity of seeing herself in it.

It is impossible to describe the rage, the pleasure, or astonishment, that appeared in each face upon its representation in the mirror; multitudes started at their own form, and would have broke the glass if they could have reached it. Many saw their blooming features wither as they looked upon them, and their self-admiration turned into a loathing and abhorrence. The lady who was thought so agreeable in her anger, and was so often celebrated for a woman of fire and spirit, was frightened at her own image, and fancied she saw a Fury in the glass. The interested mistress beheld a Harpy, and the subtle jilt a Sphinx. I was very much troubled in my own heart, to see such a destruction of fine faces; but at the same time had the pleasure of seeing several improved, which I had before looked upon as the greatest master-piece of nature. I observed, that some few were so humble as to be surprised at their own charms, and that many a one, who had lived in the retirement and severity of a Vestal, shined forth in all the graces and attractions of a Siren. I was ravished at the sight of a particular image in the mirror, which I think the most beautiful object that my eyes ever beheld. There was something more than human in her countenance: her eyes were so full of light that they seemed to beautify every thing they looked upon.

Her face was enlivened with such a florid bloom, as did not so properly seem the mark of health, as of immortality. Her shape, her stature, and her mien, were such as distinguished her even there, where the whole fair sex was assembled.

I was impatient to see the lady represented by so divine an image, whom I found to be the person that stood at my right hand, and in the same point

« PreviousContinue »